Most likely you've ordered calamari (fried) with cocktail sauce for dipping at one happy hour or another... or at least a calamari sandwich (also fried) on some sort of beach vacation. But have you ever picked up a few calamari steaks and created a culinary masterpiece of your own? In the beginning of my foodie transformation phase -back in college, I used to buy calamari steaks, bread them, lightly saute, and enjoy them with a squeeze of lemon (amidst the repulsed stares of my roommates.) I've always loved calamari (thanks Dad!) Here's the adult me... trying out a calamari recipe on the family.
I've had this recipe lying around for quite a while now: Lemon Caper Calamari Steaks with Broccolini (originally from Gourmet). These are very much like a piccata minus-the-wine. (Well, the wine was- of course- on the table, but not in the dish!) I picked up the calamari steaks as well as the broccolini at my local Whole Foods. Both looked beautiful and fresh.
Here are the easy steps involved in cooking up some good calamari (at home):
Cut up the broccolini and measure out the garlic and red pepper. Saute the garlic/pepper in a little bit of oil.
Saute broccolini in the garlic-pepper oil, add water & salt, cover and cook until crisp tender.
While the broccolini is cooking away, measure out flour, Parmesan & pepper and egg into two wide shallow bowls.
Remove the broccolini to a dish covered with foil to keep warm. Dip the calamari steaks in the flour mixture first, and then in the egg. Place into the heated pan.
Saute on both sides for a total of just a couple of minutes, until golden. Remove the cooked calamari steaks to a platter. Give the pan a quick wipe with a paper towel, and heat butter with lemon juice and capers.
Pour the lemon-caper sauce over the calamari steaks; serve immediately with the broccolini. I halved this recipe, and just made two large calamari steaks. I wished I'd made the full 4 servings for leftovers!!
We'll definitely be making calamari again. And it was a nice change from the deep fried yuck that you get at Happy Hour. Ok, I admit that the happy hour version is usually pretty darn good, greasy, heart-attack-on-a-plate fare, but this one was delicious and probably a little bit on the healthier side. And you don't even have to eat the *tentacles*... the steaks don't include them. Enjoy!
This recipe can be found HERE.